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It's An Ant's Life

I don't know about you, but in my household there are ants all over the kitchen sink. the cause of the ants is all the rain this area has been getting this Summer season. The colonies of these poor pests are being flooded out, so they have to find dryer areas and another food supply.

Ants are related to bees and evolved around 168 million years ago. Remains of an ant was found trapped in amber dated back 92 million years ago. After studying the remains, this ant had different features than our modern day ant. There are at least 22 species of ants and only 12,500 have been classified. Their identification is by their 90' antennae and slender structure that forms their waists. The colonies are made up of different workers: sterile wingless females (ergates) as well as soldiers (dinergates), fertile males are called drones (aner) and females called queens (gynes). There are only a few locations in which ants have not touched on this Earth, Antartica and a few remote inhospitable islands.

Ants work together in unison to support the colony. They have survived so long because of their social organization and their ability to modify habitats, use resources and defend themselves by working in unison. Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine, medication and rituals and even some species are valued as a biological pest control agent. In China, ants are used as sutures after surgery. South America, ants are used to harvest the plant to make herbal tea.

Ants produce new generations every year. These creatures communicate with each other by using pheromones, sounds and touch. They leave pheromone trails that can be followed by other ants. So when you see ants consistently in a line going back and forth from where they entered to their food source, they are using and leaving a pheromone trail to guide them. A crushed ant also uses pheromone that will send nearby ants into attack mode and attracts reinforcements from far away.

Even though ants are a nuisance once they get into your home; however, they are extremely beneficial in our ecosystem. Ants are extremely fascinating and scientists all around the world are studying their habits.

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